When Battlefield wideout Zac Kerxton was being interviewed following Thursday’s 49-19 win for the Bobcats over Woodbridge, his quarterback, senior Matt Gallagher, interrupted as he explained the duo’s approach to beating press coverage. Kerxton shushed Gallagher, not wanting their silver-bullet pass route to make it onto the record.
But if the two continue to connect for big plays — Gallagher tossed three touchdown passes to Kerxton in the home win in Haymarket — it’s hard to imagine their penchant for the big play will go unnoticed for much longer.
“I think the game’s just slowed down,” said Gallagher, who’s entering his second season behind center for the Bobcats (1-0). “Everything’s a lot easier. I’m more prepared, and I can just go out and play football, basically.”
That preparation started this summer at James Long Park, a grass field about a mile from Battlefield. Gallagher organized the three-times-a-week workouts with his pass catchers. The group worked its way through Battlefield’s entire route tree, hoping to render the playbook’s concepts second nature when the season started.
“It sort of became addictive, and we wanted to get really good as a unit,” Gallagher said.
For a weapon such as Kerxton, who’s eyeing a transition from role player to featured target, the workouts paid off, if only in the currency of confidence.
“I’m just trying to contribute more than I did last year, because last year I was scared my first time starting, and this season I’m a lot more comfortable,” he said. “The reps really helped. Everything was down and ready to go come season time.”
Gallagher threw for 198 yards and threw only one incompletion in eight attempts. He also ran for two touchdowns on quarterback sneaks and helped Battlefield to a 35-12 halftime lead. Corey Parker added a pair of scores on the ground, and Sam Drzal rushed for 140 yards on 14 carries.
For Woodbridge, senior quarterback Mike Majette threw a pair of touchdowns to wide receiver Kalel Grant, including an 80-yard heave off play action in the second quarter. But the Vikings left some big plays on the field, including a first-half fumble when the running back was stood up inside the Battlefield 5-yard line, and a dropped pass that would’ve gone for a score.
“We moved the ball, and we got the ball into really good positions — the downside is that we didn’t capitalize,” Woodbridge Coach Karibi Dede said. “We didn’t actually get the ball into the end zone. When we look back, we’ll have a lot of yardage and first downs.”
Battlefield junior place kicker Brendan Feehan, younger brother of 2013 second-team All-Met and current Bucknell kicker Connor Feehan, booted seven touchbacks on kickoffs.
“This group of kids is probably the most enjoyable group that we’ve had in a long time,” Battlefield coach Mark Cox said. “They’re fun to go out here and practice with. We don’t really have superstars, or at least they don’t act like it.”
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